Apartment hunting

At the cusp of a new job (though I wouldn’t count the chickens just yet), I’ve pretty much decided that we should move from our current apartment to some place else. Partly to get out of our rut, and partly to be closer to our respective jobs. I’ve perused the listings on Craigslist, and it has sent my brain into a tizzy. I’m left wondering about which neighborhood I want to be in, how much exactly can I afford, and whether having a decent kitchen is really that important (I’ve decided — it really is). We’re looking for a 1 bedroom specifically, and before I start venturing eastward for rental opportunities, I wanted to give the City a chance. The Sunset and Richmond are favorites, with Noe Valley and Haight a close second. However, I’m open to other neighborhoods depending on the location.
So I guess the question is: How did YOU find your current abode? Through Craigslist? A friend? Any recommendations on how to go about the apartment-hunting process? Tell me your stories.

9 Comments so far

  1. Keckler (unregistered) on July 31st, 2004 @ 8:39 am

    We were searching from Boston, so we actually paid for a subscription to Rent Tech but we didn’t find our current apartment that way.
    It was after just driving around my friends neighborhood near Alamo Square Park that we saw a “For Rent” sign in a window and asked about the apartment.
    Being in the city now, I wouldn’t ever pay for a rental service again but I had been told that Craiglist wasn’t always that reliable. There have been reports of lots of bait-and-switches going on.

  2. pete (unregistered) on August 17th, 2004 @ 6:09 am

    By interesting coincidence, I am also moving to SF from Boston (well, maybe not so interesting, there are only so many major metropolitan areas). My plan was to drive out there, and stay with a friend and/or hostel it until I found a place. Unfortunately, I think I’ll only have a week to find a place, and I’m beginning to get the sneaking suspicion that it won’t really be enough time. The housing market here has always been tight, but has eased up a bit since the dot com bust. Has SF gone through this? Am I kidding myself that I think I can find a place in a week? Any suggestions for another refugee from the bitter winters of New England?

  3. (unregistered) on August 17th, 2004 @ 6:27 am

    I moved out here from Texas in January and lived with a friend of mine until I found a job. After becoming employed I started looking for a job and used Craigslist quite extensively. It took me about a month to find what I was looking for, but I was fairly picky. Granted, I live in the East Bay area, so it might be tougher or easier in “the City”. But I always found Craigslist to be fairly reliable, you will see the occasional shady ad, but they cost nothing except your time. On Craigslist though, things go fast, I was checking it once a day and by the time I would call it would already be rented, so you have to stay on top of it, check it frequently (i think was checking every hour there towards then end)and call quickly. Good Luck with the house hunt and enjoy the Bay Area.

  4. (unregistered) on August 17th, 2004 @ 7:04 am

    You can find an apartment in a week, but I’d recommend starting with a month-to-month lease and give yourself time to shop around.
    I spent about 2 months looking for my current apartment but it was both the nicest and the cheapest of all. It takes some time, use craigslist.
    As far as neighborhoods go, I used to live in Noe Valley and found it quite boring. I live in the Haight now and it’s much nicer.

  5. (unregistered) on August 17th, 2004 @ 7:20 am

    Oddly enough, i found my apartment in the “for rent” section of the chronicle.

  6. (unregistered) on August 17th, 2004 @ 9:06 am

    Really, I think craigslist is the best way to go. The place I found actually ended up being on both craigslist and rentech, so I basically wasted my money. On the other hand, rentech has photos of at least the exterior so you can get a sense of whether you want to live somewhere without as much footwork.
    Rents here are ridiculous. But, I think there are plently of spots to be had. Many many people have left town, so I’ve been hearing that it’s a renter’s market.
    As far as expense… I have a friend who lives at César Chavez and Mission (near 24th St BART) and pays $1,500 for a two-bedroom. I live north of the panhandle and pay $1,750 fora 2 bedroom. I friend lived in the tenderloin in a pretty nice building and paid $800 for a studio.
    Something else to consider is that food, etc also varies a lot by the neigbhorhood.

  7. (unregistered) on August 17th, 2004 @ 9:50 am

    My gf and I just last week upgraded from our 1 bedroom in Glenpark to a 2 bedroom in Inner Richmond/USF. We found Craigslist to be good, but most posting are brief so you have to see the place. MetroRent is better, and some of the postings show contact info even if you don’t pay for the service so its worth checking out.
    What helped us the most (since we didn’t know the area or 1 vs 2 bedroom), was spend a weekend and see 20 apartments. Then over the next couple weeks, we knew exaclty what we wanted – and at what price we should spend. Then all we had to do was make calls each night off of the new postings.
    We found the city to be HUGELY a renters market. Just last year a friend for a high rise 2 bedroom – rent dropped from $3000 to $1600 a month. There are so many empty apartments right now that you are able to be picky.

  8. pete (unregistered) on August 19th, 2004 @ 12:20 pm

    Thank you everyone for your comments and advice. It is very helpful. Just the fact that you were all willing to take the time to share your experiences with me makes me feel good about this move. Thank you again :).

  9. Vic (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 12:59 am

    When I was looking for an apartment in Los Angeles (I got a job there), I couldn

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.